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The launch of the regional 'CLIMA MED' initiative, funded by the EU, was announced at the conference. The four-year programme allocates EUR 7 million to support southern Mediterranean countries towards sustainable, low carbon and climate resilient development.
"Climate change is a new challenge for all of us. We need to modify and adapt the way we produce and consume our resources to make it more sustainable and resilient," said Ambassador Surkoš in his opening remarks. “Climate change and biodiversity loss can be observed every day. Desertification, increased natural disasters, sea level rising affecting each of us and mostly the more vulnerable people,” he added.
Mr. Surkoš referred to the Paris Agreement, stating that it represents an essential step on the path towards a more sustainable and resilient future. “Together with the global 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, it has the potential to significantly accelerate the economic and societal transformation that we need to preserve our common future and the future of our planet.”
He also indicated that the EU and its Member States are the world's biggest climate finance donors and provided, together with the European Investment Bank, a total of EUR 20.2 billion in 2016 to support climate action in partner countries.
Climate Diplomacy Week is a global initiative launched by the EU aimed at raising awareness of climate change issues. The EU delegation to Egypt is celebrating the "Climate Diplomacy Week" from September 24 to 30.
The Head of the EU Delegation to Egypt mentioned that the EU is targeting youth this year during the 'Climate Diplomacy Week' to promote environmental awareness among them through a series of climate-related events. The first one was the Beach Clean-Up in Alexandria last 15 September at the occasion of the World Clean-up Day.
Meanwhile, Mr. Surkoš underlined the commitment of the EU to support Egypt in combating climate change. "The ongoing climate-related projects funded by the EU in Egypt amount to 700 million euros in grants. The EU supports companies and factories to reduce the air and water pollution resulting from their work. We also work with governorates in Egypt on the sustainable protection of environment through solid waste management programmes."
He also added that the EU has co-founded the largest single windfarm in Africa in Gulf of Al Zayt in Egypt with a grant of 30 million Euros, which provides clean energy to Egypt and prevents carbon emissions by 400 tons annually.